Principle Power has been contracted by ERM to advance the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) for a Wind-to-Hydrogen Dolphyn 10 MW demonstrator project off the coast of Aberdeen. The contract was signed after ERM Dolphyn was awarded £8.62m of funding from the UK Government, via the Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 Competition.
ERM Dolphyn (Deepwater Offshore Local Production of HYdrogeN) has developed a concept design to produce large-scale green hydrogen from floating offshore wind. The ERM Dolphyn concept employs a modular design integrating electrolysis and a wind turbine on a moored floating semi-submersible platform based upon the proven WindFloat® technology by Principle Power to produce hydrogen from seawater, using wind power as the energy source. ERM and Principle Power have been collaborating on the development of decentralized hydrogen production opportunities since 2019.
“It is now established that to meet net-zero ambitions in the UK and all around the world, hydrogen from offshore floating wind needs to be a significant component in any viable long-term solution for heat, electricity generation, and transport. The ERM Dolphyn project, a first-of-a-kind, is an innovative integrated system combining all the technologies required to bring the latest floating wind and hydrogen production technologies together to enable offshore wind resources to contribute toward hydrogen production at scale. Principle Power has been instrumental in this process, and we’re delighted to extend our collaboration”, said David Caine, Partner at ERM.
The 10 MW demonstrator project is a key step in proving the Dolphyn concept prior to commercial-scale deployment. The demonstrator project is targeting operations in late 2025. Commercial scale projects (300MW+) are under development and expected for operation pre-2030, followed by large-scale (GW) deployment post-2030. When fully deployed, at an expected 4 GW total capacity, ERM Dolphyn has the potential to supply energy to heat more than 1.5 million homes with no carbon emissions, thus avoiding the release of millions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.
ERM Dolphyn is a core project for the UK’s Hydrogen coast strategy, and it is expected to help generate >10.000 new jobs by 2030 and more than 100.000 by 2050. Many of these jobs will rely on the world-class skills and knowledge found in the offshore renewables and Oil and Gas sectors. This massive opportunity is not without challenges: the rapid scaling up of floating offshore wind to meet both governments’ and markets’ energy transformation goals requires an equally massive investment in the entire supply chain. A healthy supply chain, engaged early on, is essential to having a holistic view of each project’s challenges and achieving the desired cost reductions that will bring floating offshore wind LCoE in line with other forms of energy generation.
“We are pleased to continue our years-long collaboration with ERM on the Dolphyn project, and we are eager to further develop partnerships across the entire supply chain supporting floating offshore wind applications to support and accelerate growth in the UK and globally. Moving to FEED on the Dolphyn project is a significant milestone towards our collective carbon-free future“, said Gregory-Campbell Smith, Senior Business Developer Manager, Europe at Principle Power.
On the other hand, getting to the utility-scale requires advancements in modularization and industrialization, for which Principle Power is leveraging its 15 years of experience and lessons learned in pre-commercial projects such as WindFloat Atlantic (25 MW, Portugal) and KOWL (50 MW, UK) to streamline everything from design concept to manufacturing to installation and load-out.
The award-winning Dolphyn technology is a first-of-its-kind technology, which combines electrolysis, desalination, and low-carbon hydrogen production on a floating wind platform. It has been developed by ERM, the world’s leading sustainability consultancy, with significant support from the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments. The intention is to harness its full potential by working with energy developers and investors at multiple locations globally.
The hydrogen produced by Dolphyn is returned to shore via pipeline, where it can be used for power generation, transport, industrial use, and heating. At the point of use, hydrogen produced from Dolphyn is zero carbon. The North Sea and the Celtic Sea are viewed as significant areas of opportunity for Dolphyn, and the business plan aims to make the most of these – working together with energy developers to produce affordable hydrogen at a scale that will materially impact our shared net zero ambitions.
Principle Power is a leading global technology and services provider for the floating offshore wind energy market. The WindFloat®, the company’s globally patented and proven floating platform technology, enables offshore wind turbines to be sited in any water depth or seabed condition, unlocking offshore wind potential worldwide and allowing projects to harvest the best wind resources. Principle Power acts as a trusted partner to developers, independent power producers, utilities, and EPCs, supporting its customers throughout the entire lifecycle of their projects. With 105 MW of cumulative capacity in operation or under advanced development and a multi-GW commercial pipeline globally, Principle Power is the market leader in floating offshore wind technology.
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